Breach after mass X-ray silver mining
May 9, 2013 in Medical Technology
Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic is notifying 17,300 patients of a data breach after it provided patient X-rays to a third-party vendor, which sold the films to an Ohio-based recycling company that harvested the silver from the X-rays.
The orthopedic clinic contracted with the third-party vendor back in January to transfer old X-ray films into electronic format. Raleigh Ortho provided the vendor with the X-ray films, but the vendor never provided Raleigh Ortho with an electronic version of the films. Raleigh Ortho officials say they performed an investigation and, during the first week of March 2013, discovered that the clinic had been the victim of a scam. Raleigh Ortho believes the films were ultimately destroyed after they were harvested for silver.
According to a MedCity News report, scams related to X-ray silver harvesting have been on an upward trend. Knox Community Hospital in Mount Vernon, Ohio fell prey to a similar scam in 2011 when it sent its films to a scammer posing as a recycling company.
It is unknown whether the recycling company or the third-party vendor perpetrated the scam. Raleigh Ortho officials did not return calls for comment in time for publication.
The patients have been further notified that their full name and date of birth would have accompanied the films. Raleigh Ortho officials do not believe any other identifiable information was on the X-rays. Nevertheless, Raleigh Ortho has recommended that the patients remain vigilant by reviewing their account statements and monitoring their credit reports.
“As a result of this event, steps are under way to further improve the security of Raleigh Ortho’s operations and eliminate future risk,” reads a notice on the company’s website.”Raleigh Ortho appreciates and regrets any inconvenience this event may have caused its patients.”
Officials say they no longer have the contact information for some patients who may be affected, and they are therefore posting this information on the company website.